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My cat is open mouth breathing...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey all, a few days ago my 10 yr old female calico started breathing lightly with her mouth open, and occassionaly sneezing and coughing/twitching (i say twitch because it is between a cough and a hiccup.  .  She is an indoor/outdoor cat.  Obviously this is not normal so I monitored her.  She resumed normal breathing but seems extra tired and sloth like,  The next day she started spending about 90% of her awake time with her mouth open.  She has had a very lite appetite and nearly no water intake.  She went to the vet on day 2 and got blood work done.  Liver/kidney function was normal with the exception of being low 1 enzyme on her kidney.  Vet said its not a major concern, however she had a very low WBC (white blood count).  He has given me 6 shots to administer over the next week to boost her WBC.  She continues to sleep all day and when I walk in to the room she awakens, and sneezes/coughs and puts her head back down.  Right now I plan on taking her back to the vet first thing  in the morning and getting x-rays done to see if there is any fluid building up.  I'm just posting this to see if any of you have or know someone who has encountered these actions.  Thanks for any input.

post #2 of 8
It could be her heart. I'd have the vet check that post haste.
post #3 of 8

A low WBC usually signifies an infection and if she's having respiratory issues I'm having a hard time understanding why he didn't give you antibiotics for her! This is bothersome to me as she may have pneumonia. Is there another vet you can take her to?

post #4 of 8

I have to agree with finnlacey, she needs antibiotics before it gets out of hand, like pneummonia.

Her mouth is open because her nose is not clear enough to take in enough air, caused by nasal congestion, and her appetite loss would be due to the same thing, if a cat can't smell their food they tend to not eat.

She definitely needs antibiotics asap, meanwhile a bit of help is to use Little Noses", it's nose spray for babies (human) and works beautifully on cats/kittens, as often as needed since it's harmless, just saline spray.

Low WBC is clearly an infection, so whether these are increased or not, she needs to be given an antibiotic, preferably a stronger/faster one like Clavamox or Covenia, instead of Amoxicillin, although any is better than none!

Good Luck!


post #5 of 8

I forgot to add, the lack of water is a BIG problem here too, you can syringe her some KMR (kitten replacement milk) and/or chicken in gravy ONLY baby food with added water.

If the little noses spray opens up her nose enough for her to smell, she might drink it on her own too.

It has helped so much with small kittens, as they're so fragile, no time to mess around :)

Hopefully she does not already have pneummonia.

post #6 of 8

Don't let them give Covenia. That's being overused and there are serious side effects to that! It's supposed to be only used for skin infections:


One thing you can do in the meantime is close your bathroom door and run the hot shower to build up steam, then take her in there and let her get some steam into her lungs to clear things up. Also if you have a vaporizer or nebulizer that's a big help. But yes, please get her seen asap. Catwoman is very right that if she can't smell the food, she won't eat it. That's all cats that are like that. Try also to clean any dust in your house right now as allergy season is already starting! My tree pollen allergies are already getting going big time and it's only March! We didn't have a cold enough winter to kill everything. If you have kitty wipes, wipe her fur down and get some of the dander and dust off. Also, L-lysine helps A LOT with respiratory issues!


post #7 of 8

We have not heard back from the OP....wonder how her furbaby is doing?  Wonder what was in those shots she was given?  Hope everything is ok cross.gif vibes.gif

post #8 of 8

Hello, at this point, you will have discovered what the issue was with your cat.  But I'm surprised the vet didn't check for lymphoma.  What did you ultimately find?


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